At Global Art Forum, technology is on the spot
WITH a focus on how technology shapes art, the yearly Global Art Forum takes off in Kuwait, on March 14 and 15 and continues at its birthplace, Art Dubai, Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
UAE, March 18-20. For the first time in its ninth year running, the event is holding in Kuwait.
The theme of the 2015 Global Art Forum, according to a statement by the organizer, is Technologies, and their Impact on the World of Art, Culture and Beyond. The gathering also features a workshop on digitising archives.
Participants expected include 50 local and international contributors under the co- directorship of Turi Munthe and Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, with Shumon Basar as Director-at-Large.
The forum, it has ben disclosed, “debates how technologies have transformed not only the way we work, but how we think, interact, learn and create.”
Also, it is expected to “shed light on how the Middle East region’s culture in being influenced by the streams of communication innovations that have appeared in the past few decades,” said Al Qassemi, Global Art Forum Co-director.
Basar added that “perhaps nothing makes our lives feel better and worse at the same time than technology.” The director at large argued that while humans theoretically ‘invent’ technology, the reality is “technology ‘re- invents’ us humans constantly, in ways we aren’t aware of.”
Munthe noted: “Tech used to lag human: for all of history, we have imagined things that couldn’t be built. That may have inverted: we may not be able to conceive of what already exists. Most symposia that tackle the theme of technology believe in technology. We know it exists. We just don’t worship it.”
Launched in 2007 by Art Dubai, the Global Art Forum 2015 is presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) with the support of Dubai Design District. The Kuwait take off of the event is supported by The Tamdeen Group and takes place at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, in association with Sultan Gallery and Nuqat. It is accompanied by special exhibitions and events across the city.
The Forum’s diverse talks and presentations in Kuwait and Dubai include: a debate on the online art market, with directors from leading art dotcoms brought together for the first time; ways in which virtual museums in the Arab world and Latin America are reaching diasporic publics; conversations with artists working at the forefront of new technologies; a look back at the first communication technologies in the Gulf, from newspapers to radio and cinema; a panel that asks whether we have ‘Too Much Artificial Intelligence’
Line-up of speakers include forefront of new developments in technology such as Jawbone founder, Alexander Asseily; M3/Relativity design director, Christopher Bevans; Google Cultural Project director, Amit Sood; and digital education innovator Ayesha Khanna. Artists, writers and curators include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Amar Bakshi, James Bridle, Manal Al Dowayan, Cécile B. Evans, Omar Kholeif, Dan O’Hara, The Otolith Group and Troy Therrien.
The Forum features more participation from the Gulf than ever before, with speakers including former Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabi magazine Sulaiman Al Askari, the artists’ collective GCC, Dubai’s Higher Colleges of Technology director Dr. Saoud Al Mulla, Hessa Al Ossaily of Al Oula radio and Kuwaiti writers and academics Al Anoud Al Sharekh and Mai Al-Nakib, among others.